During the two months that I lived in Taiwan doing field research, I fell in love with a noodle dish made with ground pork, a few veggies, and bean thread (Chinese vermicelli noodles). It was SO GOOD!! I have always wanted to try to make it, but had a really hard time finding a recipe that looked like it might be the right thing.
Over the past couple of years I've started collecting ethnic cookbooks. I have a couple Indian cookbooks, Thai cookbooks, a Chinese cookbook, African cookbooks, and a few that cover a mix of several different types of ethnic cooking. Sometimes I like to just page through the cookbooks, looking at pictures of the food and scanning the ingredient lists to see if I have the ingredients to make a dish, if it looks good. During one of the sessions, I came across a recipe for "Ants Climbing Trees". And, it turns out this is the noodle dish I've been looking for! I just had no idea what it was called!
So, last night was the night. I made THE noodle dish. With a little tweaking the dish tasted JUST like the noodles I had in Taiwan. Boy, did that bring me right back! All I needed was some bubble tea or a watermelon smoothie and I would have been transported right to the streets of Taipei. We finished the meal with some fresh pineapple. Yum!
While I was making this dish, I was absolutely convinced that the boys wouldn't like it. I thought for sure I'd have to convince them to try it....encourage them to keep eating...and then I wouldn't really enjoy my meal. But, they surprised me. The took one look at it and said "yummy!" After they tasted it, Jellybean said "this is good food, mommy!" The noodles in the dish are not like regular pasta...the texture is different and they look different, too. I've always called them glass noodles, because they are shiny and transparent like thin threads of glass. Personally, I think they are fun to eat - and the boys thought so, too. They were laughing and enjoying each bite.
I should have known better. With a name like "Ants Climbing Trees", how could two little boys NOT like it?!?!